Our ship was too large to dock in Stockholm proper so we were at Nynashamn which is about a 45 minute to the south. We saved money by walking off the ship and taking a walk-on, walk-off bus into the city. Our ticket included the hop-on, hop-off boats that the islands of Stockholm as well. In order to accommodate our large ship, Nynashamn built a folding dock which unfolded to connect with the Regal Princess. (The picture below is actually from the evening when we were about to leave.)
Sweden’s capital, Stockholm, was established in the center of a massive archipelago of 30,000 islands. The four islands of Gamla Stan are the historic center where you will find the Royal Palace and walk narrow cobbled streets with shops, restaurants and a few museums. The changing of the guard is fun to see. Apparently there is a horseriding band that performs as part of the ceremony, but unfortunately we missed that. Not all the long-haired guards are women.
The most popular attraction in Stockholm is the Vasa Museum which is built around the wooden warship, Vasa. Warships of that time (1628) generally were usually lost in battle, but this ship was just a little too narrow and tall, so it sank 40 minutes into its maiden voyage in the Stockholm harbor where it was left undisturbed for 333 years. Perhaps the most interesting part of the history of the ship is how it was raised from the sea floor in 1961 and preserved. This museum is fun for everyone!
The Vasa Museum is on the island of Djurgarden which also includes the open-air museum, Skansen, featuring replicas of historic buildings and dwellings of Sweden’s past. This museum was built 125 years ago and was the original on which other Open-Air Folk Museums were copied, including the Oslo Folk Museum in a previous post. You can visit several other museums on Djurgarden, including the new ABBA museum – tragically we missed that one. Or you can ride roller coasters at the amusement park.
From Djurgarden we hopped on the tourist boat to get to Gamla Stan, where we wandered, ate and shopped. And saw the changing of the guard (see above). Below are some typical street scenes on those streets.
After a while the shoppers and the non-shoppers (that would be me) separated. I wanted to see the Stadtshuset (City Hall). Sadly, I was not carrying an ID so they wouldn’t take my credit card to pay for the inside tour (rookie mistake – always your driver’s license in Europe.) But I did see the stunning exterior.
Here we are on the docks of Djurgarden enjoying a beautiful day.